Thursday, August 14, 2014

Vacation = what it means with small kids

We are back from camping! 
The exclamation mark is there for 2 reasons. 
It was fun!
And it is done! 

Let me get right to the point of why I think vacation changes when you have kids.
It may be obvious, but really......It's because it's not about you. 

Camping had it's high points and low points for us. We arrived in Tahoe and excitedly started setting up camp. We booked a group site to accommodate our 20 people (yes this trip was immediate family) so it was fun to figure out who would sleep where and where we would gather to eat, etc. But the sun quickly faded and VERY dark clouds rolled in for what we assumed in our happy beginning of camping spirits would be a light rain. Minutes later we are being pounded with huge hail. Then torrential downpour of rain for about 2 hours. Most of us were huddled under a tarp we had hung minutes before while my mom and sister had 6 of the 10 kids in her tent. Yikes!

Just because camping with tiny children isn't challenging fun enough, add rain please! All that dust and dirt, lets make it mud! Unfortunately it continued to rain on and off like this, and more MARBLE sized hail for 2 of our 3 days. But here is the point - the kids didn't care. If anything, they were having more fun.

I realized something that I should have before, with now 2 kids it really hit home this trip. Vacation is fun for me because of what I get to watch my kids enjoy. I want to do stuff that they will have a blast doing. Of course I am happy to grab my book and escape for a bit! And nothing beats sitting with your adult siblings around a fire long after ALL kids have gone to bed playing games, eating and laughing. It's great! But the bulk of vacation and the bulk of my efforts went to creating a fun time for my little family. 

I had to think back to my memories of camping as a kid. How fun it was. Nothing better than waking up and running outside to your bike and to play till the sun goes down. But of course now I can see all the work my mom and dad did during all those trips to create such a fun environment for us. And never begrudgingly, as if put out that vacation now meant hot cocoa with their kids instead of pina coladas on a beach (don't worry they made sure to get those vacations in too :) But they were having a great time, just like I did because my kids were. While camping with a 1 and 3 year old was more work than rest, I am excited about doing it again when they are older! 

You have to await the fun times as you work hard packing, setting up, cooking, cleaning up, prepping beds, getting kids IN bed, "sleeping" (lets not even visit how that went) and then relive all the fun moments as you pack up camp and then spend 2 days unpacking and cleaning when you get home. 
If you are sensing a love/hate relationship with this camping vacation you are spot on :) 

Here is a picture overload for your viewing pleasure! 

First stop....Tahoe House! Amazing pastries :) 

Our awesome stay

Getting the tarp up just in time!

Happy babies 

Only picture with my boy :( Sadly I am blinking lol

Helping Nonni wash dishes camping style


Riding bikes Alllllll day long. Please note my adorable nephew eating his dinner facing the trailer hehe :) 

on the look out for the squirel who had it out for us :( He was dropping pine cones full of sap right and left. broke my parents back window :( Sad Day!

Sleeping baby on the beach :) 

Fun memories!

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